Friday, June 22, 2018

Match Twenty Three: Bloodbath

After one failed to impress on the first match,
And the other one was the only winner of the group,
Plus, both teams are actually considered big ones,
Everyone was looking forward to their meeting.

Argentina vs Croatia
Group D

Pic's from here.

You know how Argentina was embarrassingly got tied by newcomer Iceland on their opening match. It was really a shock. Jorge Sampaoli would of course play mercilessly against their next opponent Croatia on the group's second matchday, especially knowing that the latter won their first match against Nigeria--giving them a one-step-further chance to get into the next round.

So indeed, it was a tight-ass match. At first. The earlier half was too stiff it was almost boring -you know, some 'stiff' match sometimes could be a fun one too, when both teams are attacking like hungry beasts, but not this one. So let's skip to the second half, where all the crazy shit happened.

And by 'crazy', I really meant it.

Because when you thought that the team you thought would dominate the game, you thought it wrong.

Yes, it was Croatia who owned the game. Not just owned, they scored goals, didn't concede any, and eventually won what I considered the best game yet so far. And Argentina, were once again strip-naked. Only this time, it was much worse.

The Argentinian nightmare began when Caballero made a very, VERY deadly blunder by passing the ball casually despite Croatia's presence around. He did it once on the first half, but it was still manageable. He did it again on the second half, and you know luck seldom comes twice: Ante Rebić took benefit of the goalkeeper's weak pass, really beautifully, and there you go. The first goal, that led Argentina to the verge of the abyss.

They didn't just stand by and gave in though, and they kept attacking. But it was a mess. There were no great assisting, no pattern, there even seemed to be no strategy. So came their second hit of the night. This time it was by the team's star Luka Modrić. A stunning, skillful kick done outside the penalty area, flying smoothly far the reach of the disappointed Caballero's left hand, to land on the goal. Undoubtedly one of the best goal I've seen so far in the tournament, and one of the heartbreaking moment in football history. Especially for Argentina.

And I swear that was the point where I saw Argentina started losing hope. They didn't seem to bother when Mateo Kovacic and Ivan Rakitić came by to meddle with their defense No fight, no battle, many Argentinian players were there -even Messi too!- but it looked like they were just watching the Croatian guys to dribble the ball, easily strike through and BAM, third goal happened. Sending Sampaoli inside the locker room right away in anger after the final whistle blew, without even shaking hands with Croatia's coach.

CRAZY MATCH! Crazy entertaining second half to be exact -it finished at 3AM my time, but I could finally sleep at 4-ish because I was so excited to read all the tweets and highlights of what I just  technically saw! and maybe the most nerve-wrecking half so far because, HOW COULD IT BE SO DRASTICALLY CHANGING!? Hats off to Croatia, and I must say I'm sad for Argentina too... the heartbroken spectators, the pissed off coach, the speechless Aguero... this is what I actually can't have from a competition...

If one expected Argentina to lose, I bet he wouldn't dare thinking a mind-blowing 3-0. And Messi was there, Aguero was there, Higuain was there too to substitute Aguero, but it was useless. I think they were so burdened by the shame they felt against Iceland that they put too much pressure on themselves.

Especially Messi, of course. I can tell how he's so depressed. It can be clearly seen by how he lost all his focus, frowned all match long, and seen giving a massage to his head during their national anthem! As much as I hate him, it's such a waste to see him go without even see him once doing something we all know Messi would do.

Not the way I wanted him to fail... pic's from here though.

Crazy match, for f's sake.

Who would've thought that
It's Croatia who'd be bathing in
Argentina's bleeding?

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